Junxion is proud to have certified our international business as a B Corp—making us the newest member of a movement that now spans nearly 1,600 businesses in 42 countries around the world.
For 20 years, Junxion has been committed to using business as a force for good. It has helped distinguish Junxion from other consultancies and communications agencies, and a theme we’ve been ‘singing from the rooftops’ online, in the media, and in documentary films. So it’s high time for us to be announcing that we’re officially certified as a B Corp—the increasingly recognized TrustBrand of a new international movement to (you guessed it!) ‘use business as a force for good.’
So what’s a ‘B Corp?’ “B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” You might think of the B Corp certification for a business as similar to Fair Trade certification to a bag of coffee: It’s a clear, hard-to-achieve mark that serves as evidence that what’s inside is good for people and planet.
What does B Corp Certification mean to Junxion?
Junxion and members of our team have been viewed as leaders for over 20 years, due to our work on social impact, environmental stewardship and good governance. Many of the companies we’ve held up as exemplars in this bold movement to reinvent capitalism were among the first to certify as B Corps: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Seventh Generation, Patagonia, and so many others. But increasingly, the B Corp movement is dominated by high growth, entrepreneurial ‘social ventures’—enterprises that are led by a new breed of entrepreneur that’s as passionate about community and environment as they are about financial success.
There are many ways to assess companies’ integration of community values and environmental health and sustainability. Few of these measurement frameworks, ecolabels or other marks are as rigorous and recognizable as the B Corp certification. The rigor of the B Assessment, the diversity of topics it covers, and the depth of thinking inherent in those topics all make it not only a framework to define beneficial companies but also a great tool for managers and business leaders committed to making continual improvement.
B Corp Certification is a badge of our leadership in socially responsible business.
It’s been a few years since B Corp launched in Canada, and many of the original founding members are based in Vancouver, where Junxion’s head office is also based. The ecosystem of social enterprises around Vancouver is increasingly being recognized farther afield, including internationally. Amid a favourable political climate, Vancouver’s self-proclaimed ‘progressive business community’ includes a long, diverse list of entrepreneurial businesses, many of which self-identify as ‘social ventures.’ And many of which are certifying as B Corps.
For Vancouver’s numerous, early stage social entrepreneurs, these B Corps are a group of ambassadors within the broader social venture community—mentors and leaders that are building better businesses and a stronger community, and preserving the spectacular natural environment for which Vancouver is recognized around the world.
B Corporation formally launched in the UK just last September with about 50 UK B Corp certified companies. Junxion has had an office in London, UK since 2009, and we’re convinced the country is more than ready for B Corps. The UK in general, and London in particular, has long been a centre for corporate responsibility and sustainability thinking. For example, when The Body Shop issued its Values Report in London in 1995, it sparked a resurgence in corporate transparency and reporting among mainstream businesses that has increased every year since.
Ten years after that Body Shop report, it was also in London that a new type of business entity was created—the Community Interest Company (CIC). Introduced as a legal form under the UK Companies Act of 2006, although dividends can still be paid to shareholders in a CIC, the primary purpose of the assets in a CIC is to be for the good of the community. So it’s perhaps not surprising that the company that launched the Body Shop’s report (Forster Communications) and the law firm that conceived the CIC (Bates, Wells & Braithwaite’s) were both themselves among the 50 first B Corps in the UK. Junxion’s proud to join them.
As we mark the occasion of Junxion’s certification as a B Corp, we’re looking forward to using the B Assessment to guide ongoing improvements to our own business, and to helping allies in our clients’ businesses to certify as well.
The B Corp movement is an important, well-recognized mark of a new era of socially responsible business. We’re proud to be a part of it.
Mike Rowlands and Adam Garfunkel are the owners of Junxion, and have been working to support socially responsible business for decades. If you’re interested to learn more about B Corp certification, they would welcome your call or email.